Thursday, May 17, 2012

Protecting Kids: The Environmental Angle

Source: Environmental Working Group
The stated topic of this blog is "exploring the interaction of the media, technology and families." Today I'm deviating from the media and technology angle while sharing something of great importance to families. 

Here is a video from the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that uses "the power of public information to protect public health and the environment." It's relatively long for a web video (about 22 minutes...so grab some popcorn and a soda), but it's disturbing and enlightening, and something that parents and grandparents should see. The premise of the video is to show that "industrial pollution begins in the womb," and it encourages citizens to support legislation that requires chemicals to be proven safe for children before they are allowed into the market. That is, new chemicals should be guilty until proven innocent, rather than the other way around as they have been for over 30 years.

EWG also provides a lot of information about which toxic chemicals are found in the products that we use every day in our homes and on our bodies, like cleaners, cosmetics and sunscreens. The group has also published a stance on foods marketed to children; for more on this see last month's post on this topic. Here is a compelling statement by the EWG as it relates to toxic chemicals and children:
We are at a tipping point, where the pollution in people is increasingly associated with a range of serious diseases and conditions from childhood cancer to autism, ADHD, learning deficits, infertility and birth defects. Yet even as our knowledge about the links between chemical exposure and human disease grows, the government has almost no authority to protect people from even the most hazardous chemicals on the market.
Like the organizations I follow that fight to keep commercialism out of schools or work for a safer Internet, EWG asks for our support for environmental concerns: shaping public policy, adopting legislation, signing petitions, and donating financially. I'm thankful that these groups exist to "organize the troops," but I wish it wasn't so hard for them to do their job of protecting the public.

I don't plan to delve into environmental topics too often on this blog, but again, this is too important not to share.

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